The Best Restaurants in the Houston Suburbs
Venture outside the Loop.
Believe it or not, there is life outside the loop. And it’s a pretty great life, TBH—one that comes with dining experiences you may actually want to leave your city dwelling for. Surprised? Don’t be. Visit these suburban restaurants and be wowed via 20-seat chef’s tastings, nine-course omakase and wine pairings, and totally not basic stuff like Foie Gras Beignets and Duck Aguachile, instead. Time to start scrolling Zillow? Maybe.
If you haven’t heard, one of the “World’s Best Indian Chefs” (per the Hindustan Times) and a Michelin Plate honoree is spicing things up in The Woodlands Waterway Square. Chef Jaspratap “Jassi” Bindra and brother restaurateurs Surpreet Singh and Preet Paul Singh draw inspiration from a young Indian princess, crafting a niche experience that takes diners on a royal voyage complete with Caviar Service, Lamb Shank with Truffle Upma, and Cardamom Chocolate Mousse finished with a 24-carat gold kiss. Pair it all with wine from the sommelier’s over 800 label list, or go for a show-stopping cocktail like the tamarind infused Desi Chana Sour.
Peru meets Japan at “Top Peruvian Chef 2022” chef Masaru Fukuda’s game-changing concept, which first garnered fans in the now defunct Politan Row food hall. The standalone location allows diners to get a full taste of Fukuda’s culinary chops (and his musical taste, as he used his past DJ life to curate an epic playlist). Snag a seat at the ten-seat ceviche bar, sip Japanese whiskeys, Piscos, and Anticuchos in the lounge, or book a table in the crisp, modern dining room to indulge in Hamachi Ceviche, Lomo Saltado, and Poached Lobster Mac and Cheese in huancaina béchamel.
Mozambik South African Kitchen
We may have said goodbye to Peli Peli, but this South African standout has taken over the reins with gusto. The Afro-Porto concept straight-up comes to the Woodlands from South Africa (and Zambia), offering Texans a glimpse into the country’s diverse palate through signature items from Bobotie and Peri Peri Chicken to Malay Curry and Espetadas dripping in garlic butter. No passport required.
Texas-born and Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef Austin Simmons is here to give you a show, a super artful one in a white-table clothed, modern setting that somehow still manages to feel casual. Make your way up to The Woodlands Waterway spot and you’ll find eats from Korean Butter-poached Crab and Lobster Pot Pie to flawlessly executed A5 Japanese Wagyu, plus a happy hour experience where you can (and should) wash down Smashed Burgers and Miso Fries with a few of the bar’s magnificent Gin & Tonics.
The once-sleepy suburb of Katy (at least when it came to restaurants) has seen an awakening in the past few years, and this incredible sushi experience is one of its biggest reasons why. The kitchen sources some of the world’s best seafood and incorporates a steakhouse-esque aging program. And, as if that wasn’t enough, chef-owner Sherman Yeung (formerly of Uchi and Yauatcha) took things to the next level by hiring badass pastry chef Jio Dingayan, known for whipping up delectable desserts like Thai Tea Tres Leches and Foie Gras Beignets.
Short for Degustacion, this 20-seat chef’s table experience soars with chefs Javier Beccera and Rico Mackins at the helm. The duo puts out Mexican and Spanish influenced fare using fine Japanese technique—think Gulf Snapper en Papillote, Venison Tartare with blue corn from Tlaxcala, and Morel Mushroom & Burgundy Truffle Crepe Cake. As an added bonus to date night, there’s a sexy little cocktail bar just next door, sibling establishment Diversión.
How to book: Reserve via Tock.
Chef-owner Alex Au-Yeung’s Katy Asian Town haunt brings you Malaysia by way of Houston, rocking hawker-style snacks including Curry Dip and Roti Canai, Kerabu Prawn alongside more substantial endeavors like Beef Shank Rendang. Go for the six-course family-style meal for a real culinary trip, and for a game-changing Banh Mi, pop by Au-Yeung’s neighboring sandwich and Southeast Asian street food slinger, YELO.
How to book: Reserve via Minitable, order takeout online, or get delivery via UberEats.
Before hometown hero chef Ronnie Killen set the city afire with his namesake BBQ joint, he helmed this equally-as-excellent steakhouse in Pearland. Since then, he’s opened a second location in The Woodlands, fitting an entire restaurant empire squarely under his belt. Head to either outpost to gnaw down Dry-aged Ribeyes, NY Strip Flights, and Cherry-Habanero-Glazed Pork Belly alongside must-have sides like Creamed Corn and Torched Mac’ and Cheese.
Chef Stacy Crowe-Simonson trained at institutions like France’s Michelin-starred Chateau des Reynats, but we’re pretty pleased she came back to her native Texas to return to the humble bistro where she cut her culinary chops starting back in 1994. Visit the date night darling and dine on dishes that’ll take you way out of Houston like Normandy Duck Mousse and Duck Pastrami Charcuterie, Gulf Shrimp Provencal, and silky Chocolate Soufflé.
Old-school neighborhood spot Brasserie 1895 has rebranded into B1895 Tavern, offering a more local and Latin-infused riff on wood-fired French and European fare from chef-owner Kris Jakob. With the rebrand came a polished makeover, and an updated menu rocking dishes like Hamachi Crudo hit with serrano and black truffle, Argentine Porterhouse Chimichurri, and Duck Aguachile.
How to book: Call 832-385-2278 for reservations of 8+.
Prefer your dinner with a little side of pain? The tongue-scorching fare at Mala Sichuan is here to provide you just that. Visit its OG location in Chinatown or make a beeline for later iterations in Sugar Land or Katy Asian Town to feel the burn via Whole-Roasted Tilapia, Red Chile Oil Dumplings, Water-Boiled Beef, and Jumbo Mala Prawns.
Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster Bar
Gorgeous bayside views and some of the freshest oysters in Texas just an hour away in the timeless ‘burb of San Leon. That’d be over at Raz Halili’s (of Prestige Oysters) oyster bar and seafood restaurant, to be exact, where chef Joe Cervantez puts out a roster of freshly shucked and grilled oysters alongside Third Coast classics like Redfish Chimichurri and Cornmeal-Crusted Red Snapper.
Costa Brava Bistro
This Spanish-French mashup got its start back in 2012, when co-owner and GM Angeles Dueñas used her 30 years of industry experience (including 18 years with Houston’s Cordua Group) to break out on her own. Long story short, her bistro was a hit, thanks to co-owner and chef Kitty Bailey’s spin on Euro classics like Piquillo Peppers stuffed with Suckling Pig, Galician-style Grilled Octopus, Latin-style Roasted Peking Duck—you get the idea.
There are no windows at this unassuming Bay Area spot—unless you count the windows to your soul, bound to be unlocked the first second you dig into chef David Skinner’s mad, multi-sensory dining adventure. Each evening takes place over the course of three-ish hours, with only six seats available to experience 40-odd courses. Neatly choreographed music, lighting, and artwork mirror a rhapsody of flavors. Trust the process.
How to book:Reserve via Tock.
Escargot Bourguignonne, Chilean Sea Bass al Limone, and fall-apart, six-hour Braised Veal Shank are just some of the delicacies you’ll find on the menu at this Cypress Mediterranean joint. There’s also grandma-style Italiano staples like Chicken Parm, Penne Vodka, and Limoncello Cake, so everyone can leave happy.